This Russian rocket part is out-of-control, will crash into Earth soon

Astronomers are tracking a part of a failed Russian rocket stranded in orbit but will now crash down to Earth uncontrollably.

Published Thu, Jan 6 2022 12:32 AM CST   |   Updated Mon, Jan 31 2022 7:35 PM CST

A part from a failed Russian rocket is currently being tracked by astronomers who project that it will re-enter Earth very soon.

This Russian rocket part is out-of-control, will crash into Earth soon 01 |

The rocket part is from the upper stage of the Russian Angara A5 rocket, which is one of the nation's heavy-lift launch vehicles that was tested on December 27, 2021. The rocket test was uncrewed, but it carried a satellite onboard and a dummy. According to NBC, not too long after the rocket was launched, there was an engine malfunction resulting in the booster being stranded in low-Earth orbit.

That part stranded in low-Earth orbit measures 23 feet long, and with the dummy and satellite still onboard, reports indicate that there are about 4 tons of material headed back down to Earth. It should be noted that the majority of the materials that re-enter Earth's atmosphere will burn up, but according to Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard & Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, not all of the material will disintegrate, and some may make it to the surface.

"You might get a few hundred kilograms surviving to the surface. Most of it will melt, but some of the denser engine parts will probably survive," predicts McDowell."

While hearing that a few hundred kilograms may make it to Earth's surface is certainly unsettling, McDowell reminded the public that "Most of the world is ocean," meaning that the chances of the materials hitting land are much lower than the chances of it landing in the ocean.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science and space news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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